Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Years!

Mysterg at Meditations in an Emergency shares Ten Commandments for a Happy New Year. I hope you find encouragement and strength in them, as I have.

Now for New Years Resolutions. For this coming year, I pledge to:
-Lose 30 pounds by 1)Using my Curves/YWCA membership 2)Exercising twice a week 3)Developing healthier eating habits
-To finish my wedding thank-you notes.

What are some of you New Years Resolutions?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I will be traveling and so blogging will be light for the next 4 to 5 days. I wish everyone a safe and happy New Years!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Miracle: Mom and Baby Given Second Chance at Life

Full Video Story
On Christmas Eve, an expectant Colorado mom went into cardiac arrest during labor and died, along with her baby. An emergency c-section was preformed to deliver the baby, but after birth the baby wasn't breathing on it's own. But miraculously, both managed to revive and survived. It is unknown what caused the mother's heart to stop during labor. Mother and baby are now home and doing well.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays From My Family to You and Yours!

Wishing everyone joy, health, and peace this Holiday Season and throughout the year.


It looks like it's going to be a white Christmas after all.


Nala: Ohh, ohh! I want to help decorate!


The tree with just the beads on...and yes, that's Dad hiding behind the tree :)

Photobucket Photobucket

We keep in our hearts and remember those family members who are no longer with us.


This angel tree-topper was hand-made by Mom and Dad over 30 years ago


This poor one-legged Santa ornament has been in the family for many years

Photobucket Photobucket

Monday, December 14, 2009

Planned Parenthood Caught Lying on Video

Last week, Live Action Video released their newest video, the first in the Rosa Acuna project, which reveals undercover footage showing a abortion practitioner and staff making erroneous statements about fetal development and abortion's risks, to two young women (played by Lila Rose and a friend), in a counseling session at a Planned Parenthood in Appleton, Wisconsin. Wisconsin informed consent law requires that women receive medically accurate information before undergoing an abortion. Lila Rose, the 21-year-old UCLA student and Live Action president, told, that medical lies and manipulative counseling are routine at Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider.

In the video, one of the two women, ask a Planned Parenthood counselor if the pregnant woman's 8 week old embryo has a heartbeat (the pregnancy is 10 weeks LMP). The counselor emphasizes "heart tones," and answers, "Heart beat is when the fetus is active in the uterus--can survive--which is about seventeen or eighteen weeks."

It is clear that this Planned Parenthood employee is confusing when the fetal heart begins to beat, with viability, when the fetus' organs are mature enough for the fetus to be able to survive after birth (induced or natural). Evenso, the explination of heart tones is in particular, medically inaccurate and dishonest. An embryo/fetus' heart beat is the same thing as fetal heart tones and the term "fetal heart tone" is used to describe the sound made by the heart beating and this is the sound picked up by a Doppler ultrasound (source). The fetal heart beat can be picked up with a Doppler ultrasound, at the earliest, during the 9-10th week of pregnancy, and sometimes not until the 12th to 14th week of pregnancy (source). However, while it is not detectable immediately, the rudimentary heart has been beating since day 22-25 or 3 weeks since ovulation, 5 weeks since LMP.  The development of the fetal heart is not dependent upon viability, which is a seperate event and occurs not until somewhere around 23 to 25 weeks.

"Heart – begins to beat in Humans by day 22-23, first functioning embryonic organ formed."

"The embryonic heart starts beating 22 days after conception, or about five weeks after the last menstrual period, which by convention we call the fifth week of pregnancy."

"A primitive S-shaped tubal heart is beating and peristalsis, the rhythmic muscle contractions propelling fluids throughout the body, begins"

"The heart begins beating 3 weeks and 1 day following fertilization [5 weeks LMP - Ed.]." -

"Embryonic Heart Rate (EHR), early in development the heart starts to spontaneously beat" -

This scientific information contrasts to the misinformation the Planned Parenthood employee gave. The Planned Parenthood employee then goes on to talk about the ability of the fetus to survive outside the uterus -- which is not what the patient asked. She didn't ask if her baby could survive if it were born at that moment. She asked if her baby's heart was beating. The Planned Parenthood employee tries to divert the patient's interest from what matters to her -- Is the heart beating? -- to what the employee is more comfortable talking about, the nonviability of the fetus, and the Planned Parenthood employee tries to avoid discussing and  minimizes the fetal development in hopes to diminish the patient's concern for her embryo/fetus: "Heart tones is cardiac activity, but it is not a beat on your own-that you would survive on your own outside the uterus. Obviously if a fetus at 10 weeks could survive outside the uterus you wouldn't be pregnant for 40 weeks."

When the client then asks, "What's fetal?" the Planned Parenthood counselor then says, "A fetus is what's in the uterus right now. That is not a baby. A baby is what is born at 40 weeks. A fetus is what is in your uterus right now."

Former Planned Parenthood clinic director, Abby Johnson reaffirms this and is quoted in the video saying, "...they don't necessarily want to talk about all the aspects of fetal development...they don't want to talk about when your baby has a heart beat...they don't want to talk about when organs start to develop...they don't want to give the woman information that could make that connection...that could give her a connection with her baby."

The patient then asks for a consult with the doctor. When the doctor comes in, known only as Dr. "P", he avoids the patient's questions and tries to push for an exam first -- to move this patient along in the process and to get her past asking questions.

The patient to the doctor, "The other lady told me I could talk to you first like what the procedures were-" at which time the doctor cut her off and said, "I'm going to go over that with you as soon as I do the exam."

The further you are along in a process, the less willing you are to back out. And this doctor, like the other staff, are trying to keep this patient from thinking too much about her pregnancy and what she's about to undergo. If they were interested in giving this patient complete information and time to thoroughly consider her options before proceeding with the abortion, why would they avoid or redirect her questions and push for going straight into the exam?

The doctor then gives in and allows the patient to ask her questions. When asked, "When does it become a baby," he gives a conflicting and subjective philosphical statement:

The Planned Parenthood counselor earlier told her: "A baby is what's born at fourty weeks."

Dr. "P" said: "When you're like seven months pregnant or so. Six, seven months pregnant." and insists "It's not a baby at this stage or anything like that."

While "fetus" is a correct medical term to describe the developing human during pregnancy, the term "baby" is not incorrect and is a layman's term, which may be used by the woman to describe her feelings towards the embryo/fetus. To give you an idea of what the pregnancy looks like at this stage of development, here are some images of the embryo at 56 - 60 days post-ovulation (8 weeks fetal age, 10 weeks, LMP):

"Most embryos at [Carnegie] stage 23 are approximately 56-57 postovulatory days old and measure 23-32 mm in length. Distinguishing criteria for this stage include fusion of the eyelids at the medial and lateral margins, clear distinction of the subdivisions of the upper and lower limbs, the forearms appear at or above the level of the shoulders, the superficial vascular plexus of the head is very close to the vertex, and the external genitalia are well developed but not always sufficiently to distinguish the embryo's sex." (source)

More on the embryonic development at this stage:

Head and Neck
Head is erect and rounded. External ear is completely developed. The eyes are closed, but the retina of the eye is fully pigmented. The eyelids begin to unite and are only half closed. Taste buds begin to form on the surface of the tongue. The primary teeth are at cap stage. Bones of the palate begin to fuse. Scalp plexus reaches head vertex.

Intestines begin to migrate from the umbilical cord into the body cavity.

External genitals still difficult to recognize.

Upper and lower limbs are well formed. Fingers get longer and toes no longer webbed and all digits are separate and distinct.

Spine, Skeleton, and Muscles
Layer of rather flattened cells, the precursor of the surface layer of the skin, replaces the thin ectoderm of the embryo. Tail (the enlongated spinal cord) has disappeared.

Definately not just a "mass of tissue" or "undifferentiated cells" as most pro-choicers will claim.

The abortion practitioner then goes on to provide one-sided information in order to persuade this woman to have an abortion, saying, "This is very safe. The stage you're at right now is very, very safe. Safer than having a baby, actually." He then goes on to add, "You know, women die having babies."

According to Jezebel, the claim "Abortion is safer than childbirth" comes from 2002 CDC statistics. In 2002, the CDC recorded 9 deaths out of 845,573 abortions. That's a little over 1 in 100,000. Also in 2002, the CDC recorded 8.9 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births. From there, they deduct carrying a child to term was about 9 times more dangerous than having an abortion. However, there are some issues with this approach and deduction, with the comparison of abortion mortality and maternal mortality rates. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control report for pregnancy-related mortality rates: "In this report, a woman's death was classified as pregnancy-related if it occurred during pregnancy or within 1 year of pregnancy and resulted from 1) complications of the pregnancy, 2) a chain of events that was initiated by the pregnancy, or 3) the aggravation of an unrelated condition by the physiologic effects of the pregnancy or its management" (source). This means pregnancy-related mortality rates are broadly defined to included the following: aggravation of a maternal pre-existing, non-pregnancy-related medical condition, pregnancy-induced maternal medical condition, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, still birth, post-partum complications, and includes induced abortion. Therfore the maternal mortality rates are inflated and we are not comparing with the pregnancy mortality rate alone. In addition, regarding the CDC and AGI reports for Induced Abortions, mortalities resulting from induced abortion are typically under-reported as such. One reason is that a medical examiner may code the underlying cause of death on the autopsy report as the complication alone, i.e. embolism, septsis, hemorrhage, or anesthesia complications, rather than correctly as a legally induced abortion with specified complication. A good explination of this can be found here. Therefore it is misleading to compare pregnancy-related mortality rates to abortion mortality rates to obtain the conclusion that abortion is safer than childbirth.

The patient then asks, "Do women die with abortions?" A very common question women ask about the safety of the procedure, to which the abortion practioner replies, "Yes. But it's never happened to me..." This marks the end of the video.

Let me take a moment to address abortion safety, since it was brought up. According to E-Medicine: Abortion Complications complications of spontaneous and therapeutic abortions include (1) complications of anesthesia, (2) postabortion triad (ie, pain, bleeding, low-grade fever), (3) hematometra, (4) retained products of conception, (5) uterine perforation, (6) bowel and bladder injury, (7) failed abortion, (8) septic abortion, (9) cervical shock, (10) cervical laceration, and (11) disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Frequency of complications depends on gestational age at time of abortion and method of abortion. Complication rates according to gestational age at time of abortion are as follows: for 8 weeks and under - Less than 1% or less than 17,300 women will experience complications, for 8-12 weeks - 1.5 to 2% or 25,950 to 34,600 women, 12-13 weeks - 3 to 6% or 51,900 to 103,800 women, Second trimester - Up to 50% or 865,000 women, possibly higher.

Mortality and morbidity depend on gestational age (GA) at time of abortion. In the US, mortality rates per 100,000 abortions are as follows: (1) fewer than 8 weeks, 0.5; (2) 11-12 weeks, 2.2; (3) 16-20 weeks, 14; and (4) more than 21 weeks, 18. Let me put this into perspective for you. Consider that in 2002, 1.3 million abortions were preformed and and 430,000 spontaneous abortions occured in the United States, (source: Unintended Pregnancy Statistics) for this purpose, a total of 1.73 million, correlating the number of total spontaneous and elective abortions to the above mortality rates for spontaneous and elective abortions <-- 0.5 in 100,00 is equivalent to 1 in 200,000, divide 1.73 million by 200,00 and so on --> this translates to the following statistic number of mortalities (or deaths) which occur for spontaneous and elective abortions (but keep in mind the actual numbers may be higher or lower), (1) fewer than 8 weeks, 8.7 deaths, (2)11-12 weeks, 38 deaths, (3) 16-20 weeks, 242 deaths, 4) more than 21 weeks, 311 deaths. To put a face on these deaths, the Real Choice website features the names and cases of women killed during abortions.

Teri Huyck, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, told the Appleton Post-Crescent newspaper the video is questionable and Planned Parenthood dismisses the attacks as false and inflammatory. Also, Planned Parenthood once again cites the context of the video as unclear in part because the video is edited. However Lila Rose said her group plans to provide the raw, unedited video to authorities. She said she also will post full footage on the Live Action Web site but declined to say when. Despite Planned Parenthood's attempts to dismiss this video, I think the facts of the matter speak loud and clear, that two Planned Parenthood employees did indeed provide misleading and subjective information, in order to persuade this woman to choose abortion. It was wrong for Planned Parenthood staff to intentially misinform or withhold information from the woman about fetal development or information on what is going on in her own body, in order to suite their own ideological preferences. Medical professionals have an ethical and legal obligation to provide complete and accurate information, not just what suits their own personal or political agenda, which is what the Planned Parenthood staff is doing here. Planned Parenthood has come under fire recently after Live Action's investigations found its centers willing to conceal sexual abuse and accept donations targeted to preform abortions on African-Americans specifically.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Top Six Signs That You're Over 50...

Irony in Life

Lovingly and humorously dedicated to my parents, aunts, and uncles.

You Know You're Over 50 When...

1. You've began to receive mailings for the AARP.

2. You've received a free trial for Life Alert and considered using it.

3. A waitress at a restraunt gave you a senior discount...even though you're not over 65.

4. One of your co-workers invited you to join the local chapter of the Red Hat Society...eventhough you're not over 55.

5. Your shopping list primarily consists of high fiber foods, ibruprofen, hair coloring, and Icy Hot.

And last but not least...

6. One morning, as you look in the mirror, you've realized everything's moved south.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Debunking the Coat-Hanger Myth

The coat-hanger has become the pro-choice movement's rallying cry and you will often hear the claim that when abortion was illegal, large numbers of women either attempted abortion on themselves with sharp or caustic liquids or went to back alley, medically untrained, practitioners, and often died in the process. And they further make the claim that if abortion is restricted or made illegal again, abortion will become unsafe and women will resort self-induced abortion or dangerous means of obtaining one. But how accurate or true are these claims? Abortion right advocates also often make their claim by touting individuals cases of illegal abortions which led to death, such as Gerri Santoro, but while these cases are tragic, individual cases of ancedotal evidence does not make for a strong case. So let's take a look at the facts of abortion practice before legalization:
"Mary Claderone (then Medical Director of Planned Parenthood) and Nancy Howell Lee (a pro choice researcher) both investigated the practice of criminal abortion in the pre-legalization era. Calderone estimated that "90% of all illegal abortions are presently (1960 - ed) being done by physicians." Calderone further estimated that 8% were self-induced and that 2% were induced by someone other than the woman or a doctor. Lee estimated that 89% of pre-legalization abortions were done by physicians, an additional 5% by nurses or others with some medical training, and 6% were done by non-medical persons or the woman herself. Calderone's numbers came from "43 men and women from the various disciplines of obstetrics, psychiatry, public health, sociology, forensic medicine, and law and demography." Lee interviewed women who had undergone pre-legalization abortions. The discrepancy between Lee's and Calderone's breakdowns of non-physician abortions is probably due to sampling errors."
And on the 5% of amature and self-induced abortions: "Lee's interviews with women who had self-aborted found a different picture from the women who had sought professional (however illegal) abortions. These self-aborting women tended to be less rational, and more self-destructive, than the women seeking competent abortionists. Lee also found that the women attempting self-abortion were likely to have had a death wish at the time of the abortion.
This finding is in keeping with psychiatric literature of the time, which treats self-induced abortion as a peculiar manifestation of the self-mutilating behavior common in patients with certain psychiatric disorders.
Self-mutilation in patients with these disorders can range from superficial cuts and cigarette burns to self-trepanning (drilling holes in the skull), enoculation (gouging the eyes out), and amputation of limbs.
Mutilation of the genitals is not rare in these patients, and self-induced abortion was often regarded as an extreme form of genital mutilation aimed at attacking the patient's own femininity. It was in the political context, not the psychiatric or psychological context, that self-induced abortions were considered to be the expected behavior of normal women. This politicized view of self-aborting women eclipsed the reality, and case studies stopped showing up in the literature, although occasional stories still do make it into the newspaper.
This is not to say that all women who self-induce abortions are mentally ill. Investigators of post-Roe self-induced abortion injuries and deaths found other factors, such as distrust of the medical profession, a perception of home herbal abortion as more "natural," cultural preferences, and "ideosyncratic" factors nobody could readily explain. These women, however, carefully research abortion methods and use common sense and intelligence to select a method likely to be efficacious and comparatively safe.(source)
Just how many criminal abortions were there before legalization? This is an excellent question, and a difficult one to answer.

Abortion-rights advocates often parrot the claim, "There were 5,000 to 10,000 unsafe abortion deaths before legalization." This claim is nothing more than a well-established myth. In debunking this myth, let's look at the source:
"In the case of the 5,000 - 10,000 claims, the original source was a book -- Abortion, Spontaneous and Induced -- published in 1936 by Dr. Frederick Taussig, a leading proponent of legalization of abortion. Taussig calculated an urban abortion rate based on records of a New York City birth control clinic, and a rural abortion rate based on some numbers given to him by some doctors in Iowa. He took a guess at a mortality rate, multiplied by his strangely generated estimate of how many criminal abortions were taking place, and presto! A myth is born!
Even if Taussig's calculations, by some mathematical miracle, had been correct, they still would have been out of date by the end of WWII. Antibiotics and blood transfusions changed the face of medicine. But not only are the Taussig numbers dated, they were never accurate to begin with. At a conference in 1942, Taussig himself appologized for using "the wildest estimates" to generate a bogus number. Although it took Taussig six years to reject his own faulty calculations, at least he did admit that he'd been wrong. Other abortion enthusiasts lacked Taussig's compunctions. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of NARAL, admitted that he and his associates knew that the claims of 5,000 to 10,000 criminal abortion deaths were false. They bandied them about anyway, Nathanson confessed, because they were useful. This, too, is old news -- Nathanson came clean over twenty years ago." (source)

Because this is before the Centers for Disease Control began Abortion Surveillance Activities in 1968, and began looking at abortion mortality in earnest in 1972, all abortion deaths were typically counted together: legal (or "therapeutic"), illegal, and spontaneous (miscarriage). Mary Calderone, who was then Medical Director of Planned Parenthood, reported on a conference studying abortion in America. She indicated that in 1957, there were 260 abortion deaths nationwide. That number included all abortions: legal, illegal, and spontaneous. The caluclations based on state maternal mortality investigations are fairly close to Calderone's numbers based on national data. These numbers were based on alerting doctors, law enforcement, coroners, and hospital administrators, along with public records officials, of their responsiblity to report these deaths(source)However, even without the CDC's intervention, public health officials were watching maternal mortality in general, and abortion mortality in particular, very carefully. Mary Calderone, who was then Medical Director of Planned Parenthood, reported on a conference studying abortion in America. She indicated that in 1957, there were 260 abortion deaths nationwide. That number included all abortions: legal, illegal, and spontaneous. The caluclations based on state maternal mortality investigations are fairly close to Calderone's numbers based on national data. These numbers were based on alerting doctors, law enforcement, coroners, and hospital administrators, along with public records officials, of their responsiblity to report these deaths. (source).
So the numbers aren't as high as abortion-rights advocates would have you believe. Also, if you looks at statistical trends for abortion deaths from 1940 to 1970, the number of deaths actually began to decrease even before the legalization of abortion began in the 1960's, with 1,407 deaths in 1940, 744 deaths in 1945, 263 deaths in 1950, 224 deaths in 1955, 251 deaths in 1960, 201 deaths in 1965, and 119 deaths in 1970. Source: "Induced termination of pregnancy before and after Roe v. Wade" JAMA, 12/9/92, vol. 208, no. 22, p. 3231-3239.
Despite abortion-rights advocates crediting the legalization of abortion, much of the decrease in maternal/infant and abortion mortality during from that time period (from 1940 to 1970) can be better attributed to improvements in antibiotics (such as the finding of penicillin), improved access to blood products, improvements in surgical techniques, improvements in emergency medicine, broader access to adequate prenatal care, improved vaccinations, and improvements in environmental health/sanitation, to name a few.

Now regarding claims of what would occur if abortion were to become illegal again. Nicolas R.P. Lewine addresses one of the sources for these claims in an op-ed piece, entitled "Stumping for Stupak," published in the student newspaper, the Harvard Crimson:

The Harvard Crimson
"Stumping for Stupak" (Excerpt)
Published: Thursday, December 03, 2009

...Finally, opponents of the Stupak amendment claim that the amendment would lead to more unsafe abortions, which are likely to harm women. Participants in an anti-Stupak rally in Harvard Square on Nov. 18 brandished coat hangers and handed out flyers that said legal restrictions on abortion “just make abortions dangerous.”
This claim likely has its roots in a 2007 Guttmacher Institute study of worldwide abortion that concluded that countries in which abortions were illegal had significantly higher rates of unsafe abortions. However, the fatal flaw in this conclusion is that the countries where abortions are illegal are almost entirely developing countries, including most of Africa. The countries where abortions are legal include the United States, Europe, and other already developed nations. Moreover, 97 percent of unsafe abortions were in developing nations. This argument attributes the disparity in unsafe abortions to legal restrictions while not addressing the fact that medical care in countries where abortion is illegal is vastly inferior, much less available, and often not performed by adequately trained professionals. So it is misleading to claim, based on this study, that making abortions illegal would cause a rise in unsafe abortions. (Moreover, it is important to remember that the Stupak amendment does not actually make abortions illegal.).... (source)
Prior to Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion across all 50 states, abortion law was left to the individual states deciding if and under what circumstances they permitted theraputic or elective abortion (source).  It is likely that we would return to this status with the state legislaters deciding if and and under what circumstances they permitted theraputic or elective abortion and most likely theraputic abortions would permitted in hospitals for rape/incest cases and where continuing the pregnancy endangered the woman's life.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


To My Dear Readers and Friends...

Wishing Everyone a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!

I hope todays brings you lots of good food, fond memories, and lots of laughter and love.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Darkside Humor

Good...good! Feel the power of the Dark Side.

Ratzinberger would of made a great stand-in Emperor Palpatine

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

"Breast cancer is the leading cancer diagnosed in women in America. Each year, more than 211,300 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed. More than 39,800 women will die from the disease. The good news is, as more breast cancer is detected early, far fewer women will lose their lives."
National Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign: Early Detection brochure

National Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign
Information on breast cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment.

The Breast Cancer Site
Sponsor free mammograms for low income and minority women.

Breast Cancer Research
A journal of peer-reviewed biological research, reviews, and opinions relevant to breast cancer research.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October is National Respect Life Month

For all those pro-lifers out there, October is National Respect Life Month. I encourage you to take action:
  • Learn about the unborn. abortion, and the profound effect abortion has on women  and men:
Abortion: Some Medical Facts
Quotes from Abortion Clinic Workers
The PASS site
After Abortion Blog
Human Embryonic Development
Stand Up Girl: The Inside Story (Prenatal development with 3D ultrasound and contact embryoscopy)

Volunteer your time at a pregnancy resource center. Also pregnancy resource centers are run off of donations. Often needed are gently used maternity clothes, and baby items. (What is a Pregnancy Resource Center)
  • Pray for the women facing an unplanned pregnancy decision and a change of heart and courage for those who are abortion minded.
  • Pray for healing for women who have had an abortion.
  • Place a crib or host a baby shower at your church to collect baby supplies for a mom in need.
  • Take legislative action: National Right to Life Political Action Committee
  • Participate in a local Life Chain
I'd like to close out this entry with some of my favorite pro-life quotes:

"There is tremendous sadness, loneliness in the cry, A woman's right to choose.' No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg." --  Frederica Mathewes-Green in her essay, 'Beyond "It's a Baby" '

"It is a cruel joke to call this a woman's "choice". We may choose to sacrifice our life and career plans, or choose to undergo humiliating invasive surgery and sacrifice our offspring. How fortunate we are--we have a choice!"  -- Frederica Mathewes-Green in her essay,  'The Bitter Price of "Choice" '

"When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -- Elizabeth Cady Stanton, organizer of the first Women's Convention, Seneca Falls, N.Y., 1848

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

21 Easy Things You Can Do to Be Pro-Life...Revised

Are you new to the pro-life movement and aren't sure what you can do to help or looking for some new ideas?

Here are over 30 easy things you can do to continue to be a catalyst for life...

1) Be sure to share a pro-life message through blogging. Some great examples of well-written pro-life blogs include: Jill Stanek, The Dawn Patrol, and JivinJehoshaphat to name a few. If you're new to blogging, Blogging Basics 101 can help you get started.

2) If you've had an abortion, share your abortion story (your experience, feelings, how your abortion affected you, and how you found healing or closure) with others and learn how to become involved in the Post-Abortion movement. The negative effects of abortion on women are often downplayed and/or not discussed in dialogues about abortion.  Women who've had an abortion, especially when they experience feelings of grief or loss after their abortion, often face stigma and shame from both sides of the abortion debate. In sharing your experience, you can help remove the stigma and shame as well as show other hurting men and women that they're not alone in their feelings/experience, as well as present dialogue and opportunity to help others find healing/closure.

3) Host a baby shower or place a collection crib at your church/non-profit for a mom in need.

4) Volunteer your time with, support, and spread the word about The Nurturing Network. "The objective of the Nurturing Network is not a political one, but a most practical one: to ensure that every woman knows that the resources she needs in order to continue her pregnancy are available by calling the Network's toll free number: 1-800-TNN-4MOM. Volunteer members form an extensive employment, medical, educational, counseling and residential network which enables a mother to continue the life of her unborn child without sacrificing her own hopes and dreams. Services include medical assistance, financial assistance, nurturing homes, educational programs, employment & adoption counseling, preparation for parenthood. Staffed during normal business hours, specializing in help for college and professional women.

5) Support your local pregnancy resource center! You can do this a few ways 1)Volunteer your time at a pregnancy resource center. (What is a Pregnancy Resource Center).  2) Donate new and gently-used items to your local pregnancy resource center's Earn While You Learn Program. Through this program, women participate in parenting and life skills courses which empower them to become more independent and break the cycle of poverty, poor parenting, neglect, and abuse while earning vouchers for supplemental maternity and baby  items. Or 3) Support your local pregnancy resource centers by participating in the Purple Envelope Project. Place 1 dollar inside a purple envelope and a supportive note and send it to Care Net and/or Heartbeat Int. Their addresses can be found at the blog above.

6) Become a peer counselor and support advocate for teens at your high school. Be a non-judgemental and safe person for other teens to approach with their questions and issues. Be prepared to direct them to community resources as needed, but most of all, just be a listening ear and supportive.

7)  Participate in activities which support single and teen moms who choose life, for example: create a single moms support group in your community, start a home daycare or create a daycare co-op for parenting teen and college students, provide rides to doctor's appointments, WIC appointments, job interviews, etc.

8) Become a visible volunteer in your community. Being prolife encompasses more than just activism on behalf of the unborn and their mothers, it also means caring for the disadvantaged in our communities and our enviroment. Some ideas include volunteering at your local soup kitchen, food pantry, or homeless shelter, becoming a Big Brother/Big Sister to an at-risk child, becoming a foster parent to an at-risk child, volunteering at the local animal shelter, or organizing a trash pickup day along a highway or in your neighborhood.

9) Reach out to change the hearts and minds of abortion providers and clinic staff on National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, March 10th. See this blog entry for ideas.

10) Be a peaceful presence at an abortion clinic: silently praying or sidewalk counseling. This is an opportunity to minister to abortion-minded women as well as those undecided and to abortion clinic staff. Remember: Love and kindness wins hearts better than condemnation and hate.

11) Get involved with your local pro-life organization. There are many pro-life organizations and many different approaches. Be sure you are aware of and agree with their mission statement and activities. You can find listings of groups here and here. If one doesn’t exist in your community, consider starting one.

12) Get involved with your college's pro-life organization, Students for Life (national organization), or Feminists for Life's college outreach. If there's not pro-life group at your school, considering starting one. Be sure to check with your student affairs or activities department for the guidelines and rules.

13) Host an informational pro-life booth at your employer's or college's health or activities fair. Be sure follow guidelines and get written permission. Heritage House76 is a great source for pro-life literature and materials.

14) Attend the annual March for Life and other pro-life marches and peaceful protests. Also present a pro-life presence for life at state houses and government buildings on the anniversary or Roe v. Wade and when laws pertitant to pro-lifelife issues are being debated/passed. Also  you can participate in a Life Chain or speak out at Silent No More events. Remember, no matter how heated it gets, not to engage in screaming, name-calling, obscenities, or threatening gestures.

15) Don't forget to speak out on other issues important to supporting women and their children, including, advocating for male responsibility in sex and reproduction, prevention of unplanned pregnancies through acess to better and more reliable contraception and education, paid maternity and family leave and better living wages, support services for pregnant and parenting women at educational institutions, affordable and quality prenatal and children's health care/day care, and safe drinking water and food sources for pregnant and breastfeeding women and their children.

16) Thank local businesses as well as large corporations for standing up for life. Send out “thank you” notes/emails to organizations which support local PRCs, boycotted pro-choice projects, and who have donated time and money to the pro-life movement.

17) Read and support pro-life publications. There are a myriad of  movies with a pro-life theme, books and blogs out there. Check out my sidebar for my favorite sites and my Amazon book list for a pro-life tool box of books!

18) Share a pro-life message with those in your community by  wearing a shirt, bracelet, necklace, lapel pin, button, etc. Don’t have any of this stuff? Make something! With that said, don't forget National Pro-Life T-Shirt Week!

19)Find out how your money is being spent. Don’t support pro-choice companies or organizations unless it is unavoidable. A boycott list of companies/organizations which support pro-choice causes can be found here.

20) Write to and call your senators and congressmen and urge them to vote pro-life. Sometimes, we have to remind them why the pro-life issue is important!  Click here to locate your Congressperson. Click here to locate your Senator.

21) VOTE! This is the most effect way to have an impact on support for pro-life measures. Research the candidates voting background and stances on the issues. Vote for representatives and leaders who have a pro-life voting record, but also have beliefs consistant with your other views

Most importantly, please share these ideas with others.

Rachael's Note:Following concerns regarding a prior, similiar entry I had posted, I have re-written the entry in it's entirety.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Must-Read for Parents and Caretakers: 10 tips for protecting children from sexual abuse

Jackie Block Goldstein, a relative of Dawn Eden, and a social worker with Philadelphia's Children's Alliance, has written an article every parent of young children should read: "10 Tips for Protecting the Children You Love from Sexual Abuse." (note: It's a PDF file and Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to view it).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Inexpensive Ways to Stay Cool This Summer

Keep Calm and Carry On has some good insight on inexpensive ways to stay cool this summer

1. Fans are great. They use much less energy than air conditioners. I run my ceiling fans all day long to keep the cool air circulating.

2. Keep shades/curtains drawn. Sunlight is hot!

3. If your bathroom has one and doing so would not attract Peeping Toms & Tinas, shower with the window open to let out the steam. Otherwise, open the window immediately after your shower. If you belong to a gym, you can use their facilities and avoid steaming up your own. Of course, you could always shower with cold water. Having done this for several months two years ago, I don't recommend it. You will feel deprived the rest of the day, and probably cram yourself full of chocolate/sugar/salt until you realize what is missing.

4. At night, rinse off in cold water just before you get in bed. The evaporation will cool you as you fall asleep.

5. Close your closet doors. No need to air condition your closets.

See the rest of the tips here

Monday, June 1, 2009

Contraversial Abortion Provider Shot & Killed Yesterday

Dr. George Tiiler, a contraversial, late-term abortion doctor was murdered while attending service at his church. This is indeed a sad day, for a crime has been committed in the name of "pro-life" and the division between pro-life and pro-choice has grown even deeper. While there are many claims that the murder was motivated by pro-life beliefs and the blame is being extended to anyone who identifies themself as pro-life (guilty by association fallacy and profiling), it was not pro-life beliefs nor any member of the pro-life movement, but an individual with a history of untreated mental illness and member of an anti-goverment faction, acting alone. Please bear in mind that no person who condones murder is pro-life, as murder (and even the death penalty) is not consistant with pro-life beliefs, which call to honor the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death, even with those with whom and actions which we vehmently disagree. This is also evident by the statements of nonviolence made by many mainstream pro-life organizations. In fact the majority of pro-lifers were praying for a change of heart and convictions and they wished no harm upon Dr. Tiller, nor any other abortion provider.

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life released YouTube statement

Several of the Comments Made By Pro-Life Individuals on Anti-Abortion Activist's Jill Stanek's blog:
"By word and deed, let us teach that violence against abortionists is not the answer to the violence of abortion. Every human life is precious. George Tiller's life was precious. We do not teach the wrongness of taking human life by wrongfully taking a human life. Let our "weapons" in the fight to defend the lives of abortion's tiny victims, be chaste weapons of the Spirit."
Well said. Two wrongs have never made a right.
I hope Dr. Tiller had a chance to make peace with God before he took his last breath. No one is beyond redemption.
My prayers are with his family.
May whoever murdered Dr. Tiller realize the terrible wrong he did and plead for God's mercy.

I used to have elaborate daydreams about his conversion. Now all the secrets that would have been brought to light are taken to the grave....But it's somebody who, had he only lived to convert, would have been a mighty warrior for life. And now he's stone cold dead, a martyr for abortion advocacy.

[named removed -ed] , I also had hoped and prayed for his conversion....

I agree with you, too, [named removed -ed]. I had such hopes that something good could come of all things, including Tiller's actions. I've read that a suspect is in custody, and hopefully we can all start to respect life enough that nothing like this ever, ever happens again.

Absolutely *no* human being deserves to be shot down in cold blood...let alone in a house of worship, which should be a place of safety, peace, and refuge for *all* God's children who seek it matter what they do for a living and no matter how objectionable we may find their means of livelihood.
*No* human being should usurp that power of life and death over another.
There is *no* justification or extenuating circumstances for this murder of a fellow member of humankind.

May peace and healing come to George Tiller's loved ones.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Basic Care Bags for the Homeless

I was inspired by a suggestion Keep Calm and Carry On made of creating basic care bags to distribute to the indigent homeless individuals you come across at street corners and traffic lights. Well I'd like to follow her example and take it one step further, and start a non-profit organization for this purpose. We will be filling gently used backpacks with items and distributing them to the indigent homeless of greater Indiana. The basic care bags will contain travel/sample-size hygiene items, seasonal care items (i.e. sunscreen, hats, and gloves), clothing items, simple non-perishable food items, as well as a small card with the phone numbers and addresses of local social service organizations.

We need your help and your donations! We are in need of unopened travel-size and sample-size hygiene items: shampoo/conditioners, body soap, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrush, sunscreen, hair brushes and combs, antiperspirant/deodorant (solid only), wet wipes, tissues, as well as simple non-perishable food items (i.e. trail mixes, dried fruit, Carnation Instant Breakfast packets, etc), old backpacks, and seasonal items and clothing such as: solid water bottles, socks, hats, scarves, mittens, light-jackets, and umbrellas. We CANNOT accept hygiene items containing alcohol, alcoholic beverages, medications, razors, cigarettes, lighters, knives, guns, or any other weapons for liability reasons.

If you'd be interested in helping out with this program or donating items, please leave a comment below with your e-mail address and I will contact you.

UPDATE: We now have a group on Facebook: Helping Hands for the Homeless

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sexting: What You Need to Know Before Hitting 'Send'

Sexting, or sex texting, is a new trend among teens and young adults in which individuals sends sexually explicit, usually nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves to other teens and young adults. However fun or cool this practice sounds, it isn't without risks or consequencies. Be smart and consider the following before taking that picture or hitting "send":
  • Keep in mind that you loose control over who sees it once you hit 'send' and it goes to another person's phone. Regardless of what a person tells you they intend to do with the picture, once it's on their phone, they could save or distribute copies without your knowledge or permission.
  • Once you hit 'send' and it's in cyberspace, you can't take it back. Much like wildfire and rumors, sexually explicit pictures tend to spread quickly. Once you hit 'send' and it goes to another person's phone, the image could be saved and/or distrubuted through a variety of means, including on the internet. Once it's reached the internet, it's all but almost impossible to track down and remove all the copies of such images and they may circulate around the internet for years.
  • Your pictures may get into the wrong hands and go from cool and sexy to embarasssing. The images could be received by and used in a malicious or otherwise a threatening way by someone with a grudge or who otherwise dislikes you.
  • If you're under 18, it could land you in serious legal hot water. Possesion of sexually explicit images of any person under 18 is illegal and could result in charges ranging from misdemeanor to felony and probation, heavy fines, or even jail time, depending on how the images were used and the jurisdiction. Also, if you were caught during school hours, you could lose your scholarship, the ability to participate in extra-circicular activities, or even face suspension.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What to Expect When You're Expecting in College

The following is a documentary exploring the real basis of pregnancy in a college setting, created by  St. Loius University student, going by the monniker, PrettyInPink. Beginning  with portraying herself as an 8 month pregnant college student, she explores others reactions to pregnant and parenting college students. Also she interviews  parenting college students, explores the options available to pregnant and parenting college students, and explores the relationship of these elements with the Saint Louis University administration and stated values. Her reason behind this documentary?

I came up with the idea to do a movie about pregnancy when I was in need of a quick Halloween costume and sacrificed my scarf collection temporarily to fashion a quick belly with duct tape and a large t-shirt.
I thought some of the reactions to me were a bit interesting - I'm sure a few people were wondering whether it was a costume or not - so I thought it would be interesting to do a larger belly for a longer period of time.
The topic evolved into exploring the real basis of pregnancy in a college setting on St. Louis University's campus, which has unique qualities that are worth investigating. [Editor's Note - SLU is a Catholic university.]...

Specifically, it is interesting to see how the values of charity and chastity intertwine during these situations and how the structure of the university addresses them.

This is not a "pro-choice" or "pro-life" issue, although the discussion of pregnancy in the educational system may cause these kind of political issues to rise to the surface.
Women today faced with pregnancies legally have several options in front of them. But are they truly able to make these decisions freely? Or are they pressured by family, community, financial, or educational circumstances to make a choice they are not fully comfortable with? My motivation is to help women make these choices freely, and academia and communities need to be able to make accommodations freely available to women who need them.

In the first video, we are introduced briefly to SLU and 3 lovely students who have had children: Dana, Cassi, and Alex. Each has a story to tell and her own experiencesabout being a student and a mother on SLU's campus. Here we get a glimpse of what SLU is doing right and a few things that SLU might need to work on.

What to Expect When You're Expecting in College: Part 1 of 5

In Part 2, we learn more from the girls about the "lowest lows and highest highs," and about the accommodations they received. She asked different people in the St. Louis University community if they know what resources are available on campus and/or where to get it, and get some interesting answers. Then we are introduced to the 1st of 2 big pregnancy centers close by that cater to the students - Planned Parenthood. The representative explains PP's programs, agenda, and what happens when students or women come in the door with a positive pregnancy test.

What to Expect When You're Expecting in College: Part  2 of 5

In Part 3, she finishes looking into pregnancy options with ThriVe St. Louis, a pro-life pregnancy care center near the St. Louis University campus - what it offers and how it helps women. Then we are introduced to her project. She quickly outlines her experience of portraying myself as 8 months pregnant for 2 weeks on campus. Then the SLU community tells us what they thought about her "pregnancy."

What to Expect When You're Expecting in College: Part 3 of 5

In Part 4, she approaches the issues of the frequency of pregnancy on college campus, social reactions, and stigma towards pregnant college students. She interviews students, asking them how frequently they see pregnant college students and what their reactions were. Also, she interviews members of the faculty about their approach to pregnant students.

What to Expect When You're Expecting in College: Part 4 of 5

Summary of Part 5 Coming...

What to Expect When You're Expecting in College: Part 5 of 5

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fair, Balanced, Unbiased Reporter Seeks Negative Experiences with Crisis Pregnancy Centers UPDATE

Back in February of 2006, I discovered and disclosed Marie Claire magazine reporter Siobhan O'Connor requesting negative experiences with Crisis Pregnancy Centers for a biased article she was writing. In response, I encouraged others to take action and share their own experiences with CPCs, while also writing this article bebunking pro-choice myths about CPCs. Other blogs picked up my article and the positive response was overwhelming. As a result the article was never published in Marie Claire magazine. Now an update. I recently discovered Ms. O'Connor went on to write and publish a negative article on CPCs May 2007 in Good Magazine, entitled, "Playing Doctor: The pro-life movement's new plan for family planning" Reader responses at the article have been mixed, but please be sure to share your own experience with a crisis preganancy center, whether you were a client or a volunteer, with others at this article and in your community. Also, you can support your local CPC through volunteering your time or donating.

Myths and Facts About Pregnancy Resource Centers
A comprehensive and investigative report looking at the accusations leveled against CPCs by pro-choice organizations, using facts and documentation in response.

Fake Story About a Fake Clinic?
A Planned Parenthood sent out an action alert mass e-mail to drum up support for a bill targeting allegedly deceptive advertising by crisis pregnancy centers, using a questionable ancedote about a CPC in Indiana. The ancedote in question is explored more in depth with some investigative reporting.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has come to Indiana!

Indianapolis Family To Get 'Extreme Makeover'
Estridge To Construct Home For Family In Need
POSTED: 7:35 am EDT March 16, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS -- ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" has chosen an Indianapolis family to be the recipient of a new home. Every Sunday night on ABC and RTV6, the show's crew changes the lives of a family in need, tearing down their home and building them a brand new one in just one week.
The Estridge Companies, a central Indiana homebuilder, will be take on the project. Mayor Greg Ballard was part of an official announcement Monday morning.
"This will not only help a deserving family, but it also will demonstrate to the world how this community works together to honor and support its everyday heroes," Ballard said.
The Indianapolis family, whose identity won't be revealed until later this month, was chosen for the show's season finale, which airs on May 17.
"In a couple of weeks, Ty Pennington (show host) will knock on the door and the family will know for the first time," said Paul Estridge Jr., president of the company.
The show, in its sixth season, has won back-to-back Emmy Awards as Best Reality Program.
"There are many dimensions of this that are quite transforming, to not only this tremendous model of an American family, but also the entire neighborhood," Estridge said. "More than any other show, this show will go beyond the four walls and reach out into the neighborhood."
Times are tough for homebuilders, and the decision to take part in the project was not one that Estridge took lightly.
"It was one of the most challenging decisions our company had to make, because as everyone knows, if you're a homebuilder today … you're struggling to try to make the right decisions," Estridge said. "We're certainly no different than any other builder, but this opportunity is really an extension of our company's values."
Estridge has built more than 7,500 homes in its 42-year history.
Updates on the project as well as airing date can be found at the link above on the WTHR Channel 6 website.
I'm so excited, both that the producers have chosen this well deserving individual and that the show has come to my area! :D

New Website Offers Incredible Array of Images & Movies of the Developing Human

The Endowment for Human Development is a website showing the developing unborn in astonishing detail, using scientific images and details. And one gallery of movies provides subtitles in over 90 languages. This is a great pro-life resource. Pass it on.

Other Great Scientific Prenatal Development Sites Include:

Multi-dimensional Human Embryo

University of New South Wales Embryology Website

The Visible Embryo

H/T to Suzanne at Big Blue Wave

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Story of Hope....

The Story of Faith Hope

A diagnosis of anencephaly has not stopped this young single mom from embracing every day, every moment, of her child's life. A chance at life and joy, even if brief, which would of been taken from this mother and child, had she had an abortion. And a wonderful story of hope and encouragement for other mothers experiencing this devastating diagnosis.

H/T Christina at Real Choice

If you're facing a poor prenatal diagnosis, please check out Be Not Afraid where you'll find other mothers stories and hope.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers

Just a reminder -- "National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers" is March 10.

The project was launched in 1996 and was co-sponsored by many national organizations and individuals , though it's popularity among abortion rights supporters has diminished over the years. Here's where we can step in and fill the void and compassionately reach out to abortion providers. Priests for Life has in the past suggested March 9 as "National Day of Invitation for Abortion Providers" to invite them to repent and reform. In fact, I don't see why we can't do it March 10 so that we're using the same day. In fact, it would be a powerful witness if the only people reaching out to abortion clinic staff on their special day was prolifers.

Abortion wounds everyone it touches in some way or another, from the woman to her partner and family, even to abortion providers. Former abortion providers have spoken out here. And Dr. Rachel McNair has explored the stresses of abortion work in her  book Achieving Peace in the Abortion War. Though there are certain elements of greed (see here and here) and egotism, keep in mind that we're not dealing with heartless evil people, but misguided and well-intentioned individuals. A common underlying motivation is the idea that somehow what they're doing is helping the patients. The typical abortion worker views herself or himself as bravely overcoming his natural revulsion at destroying fetal life in order to better the lives of women. So what we need to do is break through that illusion. With that in mind, let's look at Refuse and Resist's suggestions, and see where we can get ideas to reach these lost souls and help them break free:
  • Send clinic staff letters gently letting them know that though they may have meant well, they hurt you or your loved one.
  • Bring your local staff gift baskets that include information on the Society of Centurions, or Clinic Make the gifts real gifts, like notecards, fruit, bath salts, and so forth, not phony "gifts" intended to crush the worker's spirit, like bloody dismembered baby dolls, baby clothes, etc.
  • Organize a local event to increase awareness of how abortion hurts women, or provide a respectful counter-presence at locally organized pro-choice events.
  • Organize a job fair to help link clinic staff with people willing to give them new jobs that will allow them to escape the abortion business.
  • Be a presence outside abortion facilities, reminding staff, patients, and the public of women who've been harmed there (look here for an example of such a pamplet ).
  • Invite your local abortion staff to coffee, to let him or her vent in a safe environment without fear of being labeled a traitor.
  • Write to your local newspaper, and call talk shows, to educate people about the harm abortion does to women.
  • Use your imagination to create a climate in which abortion clinic staff know that it's safe for them to approach you should they ever need your help.
H/T and Credits Go to Christina at Real Choice

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Help Needed in Developing Crisis Pregnancy Manual for the GLBT Community

The ProLife Alliance of Gays and Lesibians and the Nonviolent Choice Directory are collaborating on a crisis pregnancy manual for the LGBT community. Please check out their survey and see if you can offer any assistance.

Your  initial response may be, "How can lesbians experience a crisis pregnancy?" But the link explains, and really raises some awareness. And the manual will likely develop into something that will also help in all pregnancy center situations

H/T Christina at Real Choice

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Teen with Autism Tasered into Unconsciousness

Suit: Autistic boy was Tased
February 20, 2009
Carmel Clay school called police during outburst, parents say
By Vic Ryckaert
A middle-school student with autism was Tased twice by a Carmel police officer, according to a lawsuit filed by the boy's parents against the Police Department, one of its officers and a local school district.
According to the suit, the electrical bursts temporarily knocked the 90-pound boy unconscious during a confrontation at Creekside Middle School. The boy, who was 14 at the time, was taken to a local hospital before being released to his mother.
The suit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, seeks damages for medical expenses, pain, suffering and mental anguish. The defendants are the Carmel Police Department, officer Matthew Kinkade and Carmel Clay Schools.
Carmel Clay Superintendent Barbara Underwood declined to comment, citing the pending lawsuit. Efforts to contact Kinkade and a spokesman for the Carmel Police Department were not successful Thursday.
According to the lawsuit:
On March 11, the boy, who is not named in the complaint, was dropped off at Creekside by his mother, Dianne Bell, who called to tell school officials her son was going to be late.
At the end of the day, the boy was told he was going to receive detention. At that point, the boy, who is described as having "affective disorder and has been diagnosed with autism, manic-depressive disorder and bipolar disorder," became "frustrated and began to act out."
"During this outburst he is saying outrageous things," said the Bells' attorney, Ronald Frazier, noting that the boy threatened to call members of his gang to retaliate against the teachers.
"They know there is no gang there," Frazier said. "They know he has no way of acting on what he is saying. They are taking these idle threats and calling police."
The Bells contend the school district failed to follow the guidelines they had set up to deal with the boy's outbursts -- techniques the family says would have given the boy a chance to cool off.
"When a child like (the Bells' son) starts to have emotional problems, the (individual procedure) is supposed to be followed," Frazier said. "It has specific steps that are to be taken in order to keep the child from melting totally down."
Instead, school officials dialed 911.
Officer Kinkade arrived, according to the complaint, and reacted to the boy's outbursts by grabbing him and forcing him to a bench in the school lobby.
When the physical force failed to control the 5-foot boy, Kinkade drew his Taser and shocked the boy two times until he lost consciousness, according to the complaint.
"Officer Kinkade used unreasonable and excessive force by failing to follow policies and procedures that were in place for dealing with autistic children," the suit alleges.
Frazier contends in the suit that although school officials say they advised police about the boy's condition, the Police Department says that's not so.
The Police Department has an autism response team, but it was not dispatched. Kinkade is not a member of that team, according to the suit.
"Autistic children have a great difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they don't understand social cues," Frazier said. "(The Bell child) gets confronted with violence, with Tasers, and he is flipping out because of his sensory overload."
The suit contends Carmel police were "grossly negligent in the training of Matthew Kinkade," who joined the department in January 2006.
Noblesville Police Department Lt. Bruce Barnes, an instructor in the use of Tasers, said officers are trained to use the devices when lesser-force options are not available.
"You can use the Taser anytime anybody is punching, kicking or threatening to punch or kick," Barnes said. "We can use it when we tell someone to do something, they refuse, lesser-force options are not available and they are a credible threat to you."
Barnes declined to comment on whether the boy could have posed a credible threat to a police officer, saying he did not know the full circumstances of the incident.
Sheila Wolfe, director of the Indianapolis-based Autism Education and Training Center, said the reaction of school officials and the police officer agitated the boy.
"You need to step away and leave them alone so that they can decompress," said Wolfe, who has an autistic son in middle school in Carmel Clay. "I have a hard time believing that a trained officer would Taser a child with a disability if they fully understood the situation they were walking into.
"I know from experience that the people in Carmel (Clay schools) know better. As a school system, they have the expertise and they have the people available that know better. I'm surprised."
When I saw this, I thought to myself, "Oh no, not in Indy..." Indiana is one of 6 or 7 states which requires autism-recognition instruction for law enforcement and emergency response individuals. Earlier this year the HAMILTON-BOONE-MADISON SPECIAL SERVICES COOPERATIVE provided training to over two hundred police officers in Hamilton County, Arcadia, Carmel and Fishers to inform police officers of the common characteristics of individuals across the autism spectrum, and strategies to help when interacting with these individuals. From working in special education, I can tell you, this child would of had a behavior plan, which likely would of included a de-escalation plan.  I would question if the plan was followed by the faculty at the school. Also, there are restrictive physical interventions which are taught in most institutions and schools for these types of situations and could have been applied in this situation to keep this student and staff safe. Also, I question why wasn't the police department's autism response team wasn't dispatched and did the school inform the police department that the child has autism, so the responding police officer could adjust his approach appropriately, to meet the child's communicative and physiological needs associated with his disability.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No Longer a Quiet Safe Haven

Unfortuantly public libraries have become less and less of a quiet place to study or read books and more of a busy, bustling, and often loud technology cafe, teen hang out, and a preschool all under one roof. While most of these are welcome changes, it appears the common curtesy of maintaining a quiet enviroment for those who may be studying or reading has faded with the times. As a patron and a former library staff, it has become increasingly frustrating for me because our local public libraries are becoming ridiciously loud due to the part of inconsiderate and outright rude patrons and even staff! Also, it has been my experience that librarians and staff are increasingly becoming more hesitant to ask a patron to take steps towards remedying the noise they are causing for fear of *gasp* offending the patron. Sure, nobody likes a grumpy librarian, but no one likes a headache, either! So in closing I ask of this:

1) Please set your cellphone ringers to silent or vibrate mode.

2) Please make haste to the foyer/entrance or a designated area of the library when receiving a call or to make a call on your cellphone, as to avoid disturbing the other patrons.

3) Parents, please teach your children and reinforce library manners, starting at a young age, i.e. to use an indoor voice; walk, not run in the library; and to not climb library furniture or bookcases like they are a junglegym.) And if your child is being disruptive (yelling/screaming, crying, temper tantrumming), please remove them to the foyer/entrance or your vehicle.

4) Parents, the library staff are not your babysitters, nor do they get paid to be your sitter, if your child is under the age of 12, please have a designated guardian stay in the library with them (this could be an older sibling, a neighbor, an after school sitter, a grandparent, or an aunt or uncle) and have a designated pick-up time so the library staff does not get stuck babysitting your child after the library closes.

5) Please do not hold conversations by yelling accross the room, instead walk over to the person. You will not only save others a headache, but your message will be much clearier as well.

6) Library staff, you have been just as culpable: Please moniter the volume level of your conversations, with patrons and other staff.

7) Library staff, please don't allow teens to gather around computer stations, as their excitement over their friend's updated Myspace page, the newest video game, or the latest school gossip may become disruptive for their neighbor at the next computer station over.

In taking these steps, we will be working towards creating a quiet enviroment, which is more conductive to learning, as well as considerate to others.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fun Videos

My husband sent me links to these funny videos he found last week on You Tube. They are of course Star Wars related.

Talent Night
A little fun with popular music and Star Wars action figures


Talent Night 2

More fun with popular music and Star Wars action figures. After watching this, I recommend checking out the other similiar videos this person made, including "We Will Rock You", "Bicycle", and "Yellow Submarine." Lots of laughs!

For more fun, I recommend these funny non-Star Wars videos as well.

David After the Dentist
A funny video of a little boy coming out of anesthesia after having a tooth extracted

Smart Cheetah
A nature documentary gone wrong...

Scary Snake...Just Watch

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Free Pro-Life Handbook

To anyone who is interested:

The Pro-Life Action League is giving out a pro-life handbook to anyone who requests it, for free!

The book is called "Sharing the Pro-Life Message" and it's packed with information about abortion, life in the womb, responding to pro-choice arguments and more.

You can order your free copy at the link below:
Free Pro-life Handbook

H/T Bethany at Precious Infants

Inexpensive and Practical Charity

Blogger Keep Calm and Carry On has a series of great ideas for being charitable and helping others, which are both inexpensive and practical. I wish I would of thought of this! I recommend checking out their whole series of blog posts on this topic:

Charity, Cheaply: Part 1
Care Packages for Soldiers Across Seas
Charity, Cheaply: Part 2
Donating Blood, Plasma, and Bone Marrow Can Save a Life

Charity, Cheaply: Part 3
Comfort and Joy: writing letters and creating care packages for children with a terminal illness

Charity, Cheaply: Part 4
Toiletry Kits for the Homeless: practical uses for hygiene item samples we tend to accumulate and a great way to serve those less fortunate.

Charity, Cheaply: Part 5
Time and Service: Sometimes, the most needed gift is the gift of time and service for friends, neighbors, and in the community.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Birthday A.A. Milne (Author of Winnie the Pooh)

Anyone who knows me well knows I'm a fan of the children's Winnie the Pooh series. Today is the birthday of A. A. Milne and not coincidentally, it's also Winnie the Pooh Day. Happy Birthday A. A. Milne!

For Fun: Which resident of Pooh Corner do you identify with the most?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Family in Need of Help...Not Just an Abortion

Dawn Eden alerts us to a story featured by abortion provider "Nell" at the abortionclinicdays blog, discussing an African-American woman with the name of DaShay, a hysteric mother who called to inquire about getting Plan B for her mentally disabled 17-year-old daughter, Alia. In the discussion with abortion provider "Nell" DaShay comes to the realization that her daughter is 9 weeks pregnant and insists her daughter has an abortion.

The story is a that of single mother living at poverty level and end the end of her rope, caring for her mentally disabled daughter and for her daughters son as well.  And now the daughter is pregnant again. Because of the nature of her disability, this raises the question of whether or not the sex is consensual and whether or not she is the victim of statuatory rape. Also, there is the issue of the financial and living situation in which she and her mother are living in.

Nell describes what happened after DaShay, who was "pretty angry, cursing her daughter up and down for having sex," put her daughter on the phone:
Alia answered my questions slowly, but kept confirming that she did not want to be pregnant. Even though she was 17, she sounded younger. Mom was in the background shouting lots of questions, so I asked to speak to DaShay again. "Look--my daughter has one baby and I got her baby. I adopted him because she can't care for him. She's got a disability, she can't care for herself, she can't learn, she was in special classes but went and dropped out. I been laid off. We only get a little bit of money for her disability. She can't have another baby! We are on welfare--do you hear me? WEL...FARE. WELFARE! Understand? We got nothing. Now what's this gonna cost? Thirty? Fifty dollars for the pills?"Because of where she lived, DaShay's welfare would not cover the cost of an abortion. "Actually, it's going to be closer to $350," I explained again why it was different than needing Plan B. She started screaming at her daughter, "$350? What am I supposed to do! Where we gonna get money? Where'd that little boy go who said he's gonna help you?"
The abortion provider Nell seems short-sighted, focusing on raising the funds to end the girl's pregnancy, but does not seemed concerned of the living situation of Alia and her mother, nor of Alia's disabilities:
When DaShay calmed down again, we went over her finances. She was right--they were just barely surviving. I don't know how she was making it work. We went through the steps to get her some emergency help from the National Abortion Foundation, but still weren't able to get the whole cost covered. We made a plan where she would try to come up with a portion and I would start calling around to some other emergency abortion funds to find part of it. We scheduled Alia's appointment for two weeks in the future, to give each of us a chance to try to come up with some more money. I'm still waiting for phone calls back from the emergency funds and I don't know what's going to happen.
Following readers concern for Alia, the abortion provider, Nell, added a postscript to the entry:
Because several readers have been distressed at the possibility that Alia may have been sexually abused or that she did not have the intellectual capacity to understand what was happening for her. I'm glad that our readers are concerned for her welfare. No woman should be forced or coerced into having an abortion, continuing a pregnancy or giving a child up for adoption. It is very important that women with special needs get extra time and care to ensure that they make decisions that they are comfortable with. For an example of how a counselor can work with a minor to ensure that she is not being abused, that she understands the medical care she will recieve and that her medical team and family come together to help support her, please see this entry that Lou wrote a few weeks ago.
Ok, so they talk about how wrong coercion is and blah, blah, blah, but do they actually take the time to sit down and talk with the women and actively listen to what the woman really is saying? Eventhough she may be saying yes, she is crying, and her abusive boyfriend or parent is waiting for her out in the waiting room or the car. And I wonder, with how hysterical and demanding the mother in this situation is being, if the daughter is under pressure or being coerced to have the abortion? And what, I wonder, is Nell and Lou's idea of counseling for Alia? Having her hysterical mother sit with her and hold her hand while they describe her pregnancy and the abortion procedure in run-of-the-mill medical descriptions and pro-choice euphemisms which she may or may not understand? Will the abortion providers refer the family for community and support services or do their services only extend to the abortion?

Following Nell's post, abortionclinicdays posted a follow-up telling readers how they could finance Alia's abortion:
One organization that helps women nationally is WRRAP. They are wonderful, just wonderful. I could tell you so many stories of women they have helped! Pregnant women who have lost their jobs, women who are homeless, women whose personal finances are committed to their children. Even working women sometimes earn too little to be able to pay for an abortion and still pay their rent. WRRAP's staff is volunteer so whatever you donate goes right to the clinics for a specific woman whose situation we present to them. Whenever WRRAP has money, they immediately spread it around! And I have never seen such an increase in requests! These days, with so many women losing their jobs, losing hours at work, losing their homes, the requests are greater than ever. As a result, WRRAP is always short of funds. Any amount you care to send will be so appreciated, is so needed!
It's not amazing the number of individuals who are so quick to jump in and offer financial donations for the abortion, but I wonder if the same individuals would also be willing  to jump to the aid and support of women who chose to carry to term, to assist a single mother afford daycare while she works, to help a poor family who is struggling make rent, to open their home to a young mother and her child, or be willing to drive a woman to well-care doctors appointments, etc.

What will become of Alia, her son, and her mother after the abortion? And why is the PREGNANCY the only thing the mother and the abortion clinic staff care about? This family needs help on so many levels and Christina from Real Choice addresses these issues:

1. They need to consider whether or not Alia's sex was consensual and whether or not it is statuatory rape, due to her age and disabilities.

2. The girl has special needs that obviously aren't being met. How is an abortion going to fix that?

3. Her mother is obviously past the end of her rope, totally decompensating, stressed out to where she can't cope any more. That girl needs to be out of that situation and her mother needs intervention to get her life on a decent track.

All an abortion will accomplish is ending the life of Alia's unborn baby and a bunch of elitists patting themselves on the back for what? For “helping “ another woman by providing her an abortion, even while this girl and her family remain in a miserable situation.

Take Action:

- Pray for DaShay and Alia, that they have a change of heart and for their home situation.

- Learn about your local pregnancy resource centers, non-profit organizations, and assistance programs so that you may be able to refer those in need.

- Donate to your local pregnancy resource center's Earn While You Learn Program. Through this program, women participate in parenting and life skills (finances, budgeting, time management, etc) courses which empower them to become more independent and break the cycle of poor parenting, neglect, and abuse while earning vouchers for supplemental baby hygiene items, furniture, maternity and infant/toddler clothing,  car seats, infant bedding, etc, with diapers and formula given out on an emergency basis.